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Coastal Fund Provides Grant for Conservation Education

UCSB interns will teach K-12 students about biodiversity the ecological principles of sustainability

The Santa Barbara Ambassadors of the Environment education program, created by the Ocean Futures Society, has received a $5,800 grant from the Coastal Fund of UCSB.

In partnership with ocean conservationist Jean-Michel Cousteau and the Ocean Futures Society, the Coastal Fund is providing UCSB students the opportunity to train as naturalists along the Gaviota Coast.

They will teach K-12 students to appreciate biodiversity, apply ecological principles of sustainability and feel connected to nature.

Led by head naturalist Laura Brands and UCSB student interns, children will dive into kelp forests, hike along El Capitan Canyon’s ridge trails, and experience evenings with local Chumash storyteller Jully Tummait. Youngsters should return home armed with knowledge to live more sustainably.

As Jacques Cousteau said, “People only protect what they love, and they only protect what they know.” Through the ambassadors program, students of all ages will learn to love the coast and leave wanting to protect it for a lifetime.

Interested school representatives can call the Ocean Futures Society at 805.899.8899 x104.

The Coastal Fund is a student-funded, student-run organization that serves to preserve, protect and enhance the terrestrial and marine habitats associated with the UCSB shoreline. Since the fall of 1999, the Coastal Fund has granted $1.68 million to more than 417 projects.

— Jennifer Verhines is the outreach and Education Coordinator for the Coastal Fund.

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